Lawyers Journal

Casemaker now offers more functionality, library content -- at no cost to you

With the new year comes the addition of new and exciting features to Casemaker. Since the launch of the Casemaker Online Law Library in November 2002, we've taken all the feedback from members along with the collective voice of the other Casemaker Consortium members to incorporate a number of important improvements. The changes run the gamut from functionality to library content. The key improvements are outlined below.

Functionality improvements
The first and biggest new feature to be included in Casemaker is casecheck. With casecheck you can see not only the later case cite while viewing the underlying case, but you also see the name of the case immediately below the citation. In addition, casecheck will allow for separate printing of either the case or the citation list.

The Find feature was not as efficient as most members would have liked in searching documents for keywords. A new next/previous hit button eliminates the need to scroll down throughout the text of a document to see the next highlighted term. Just click on the next/previous hit button to move quickly forward or backward to the next keyword in the document.

Until now, only Title and Chapter levels have names visible in Browse Mode in the Massachusetts statutes. Many members suggested the addition of section-level names of statutes for use in Browse Mode. This feature is now completed and will be added to the Browse mode. An example of what this will look like is shown at right.

Some Casemaker users have requested special functionality for members who are blind. With that, HTML speech-recognition coding has been added to the federal and state libraries. The additional coding enables use of special speech-recognition software to aid the blind in their use of Casemaker.

To make navigation between Casemaker and MassBar.org easier, a back button will be installed. The back button will be the MBA logo at the top of the Library Contents page. With just a click, you'll be on the MBA home and be able to quickly access all MBA news and features.

Another feature you should be aware of, if you aren't already, is the Thesaurus search term expander. One of the most advanced search features offered in Casemaker, this feature allows you to expand your search to find cases that have words related to the keywords in your search. For example, if you used the feature on the keywords to find all cases that have the words "DWI" and "wine," not only would those cases be found but all cases that have words related to wine, such as "beer," "alcohol" and more will be found. This feature is not offered at any price or level of service from the majority of online research competitors.

Content changes
Two additions will be made to the content in the federal library.

First, the recent Supreme Court opinions of all 50 states will be available. The content will sit in a page listed in the federal library as Recent State Supreme Court Opinions.

Also, broader U.S. Circuit Court coverage will be available. At this writing, the First Circuit Court should be updated. All the other Circuit Courts will be updated in the coming weeks.

A new 50-state ethics opinion library is coming soon. The library will include every state that utilizes a version of the Model Code or the Model Rules of Professional Conduct in one complete database of prior rulings. This addition will not affect the separate state listing already in our library.

More Casemaker news
As proof that you can depend on Casemaker, we'd like to share with you that in this past quarter Casemaker has been off-line for a total of only four minutes! Casemaker's quadruple redundant servers beat one of our top competitors in time off-line. With both companies, time off-line was small, but to be better than a giant in the industry is a feat we're very proud of.

If you would like more information or on-the-spot training in Casemaker, join us at our Annual Conference, Jan. 22-24 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. In the new MBA Members Room, Casemaker trainers will be there to answer questions and provide hands-on assistance with all of Casemaker's features.

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